Editorial 24

Welcome to Issue 24. I should have used the snow scene in Issue 22’s cover, as the weather has thrown some startling winter blizzards at us in March.

There are two excellent reviews in this issue. Thanks to Emma McKervey for sending in The Rag Tree Speaks, which has been reviewed by Samantha Maw. I always knew these as Clootie wells, strange and sinister places, laden with import. Jane Simmons has another review for us, of  Jacqueline Saphra’s powerful All My Mad Mothers. 

In this issue, I have returned to the subject of found poetry. The topic appeared last year as a useful writing exercise, but I am delighted to feature Eddy Chandler’s clever and playful found poetry in a complete altered book.

Jude Brigley has submitted a fascinating article,  Poets and their practices: the thinking of poets  which looks at “a case for saying that poetry has its own ways of thinking, or, as Oakeshott puts it, ‘a voice of poetry’.”   I cannot stress strongly enough that there is great effort to be applied to creating a poem; there has to be an inspiring idea but then there is the hard work of shaping it. This article looks at ideas about this shaping as formulated by different poets and how they see the shaping.

I have also included poetry by Jude Brigley, with its interesting loose form, her anecdotal approach, the way she evokes the very feel of a time and place, and her ability to conjure up poignant details. Fiona Sinclair is also notable for the anecdotal feel of her poems, with their sharp climaxes. I love the disturbing tone, the energy, the layouts, the surprises in Erik Korhel’s work and the great economy, immediacy and humour in Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois’ poems. And I make no apologies for featuring Josh Crayton’s Bzzzz poetry, it is funny and charming.

I have chosen Jeremy Nathan Marks as my featured poet. I loved the tone of his poems,  and I found the mix of surrealism with the precision of language really engaging. His subjects are refreshingly different!

Perhaps the next cover will have a spring feel…

Shirley Bell




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